Motivate to the Web

By Malcolm Fleschner

Thoughtful sales managers are frequently confronted with the challenge of creating incentive programs that motivate everyone on the staff, from the new college grad to the working mother of four to the silver fox with 30 years of selling under his belt. That’s why today many sales managers are looking to the Internet to absorb many of the challenges associated with devising and running an effective sales incentive program.

“In many incentive programs, the manager has to look through a catalog, pick out the right items to use as an incentive, get them customized and then arrange for their manufacture, shipment to a location and individual delivery to the salespeople,” says Robert Levitan, president of, one of the Web’s premier gift currency companies. “But the Web can streamline a great deal of that, particularly in sourcing, distribution and tracking. It’s not only easier – it’s more cost-effective.”

By setting up a Flooz account, managers are relieved of many details while retaining a personalized sales incentive program. They simply designate how many dollars worth of “Flooz” they wish to purchase and how it should be distributed, and then recipients have their choice of spending the money in any of the dozens of well-known online stores that honor Flooz. “This is the kind of incentive that will make your salespeople happy,” Levitan says, “because they get to choose whatever they want. And as the manager you can also personalize the distribution of the prize with an email or an online greeting card that says, ‘Great job on the Acme account,’ ‘Way to hit your goals,’ or simply ‘Congratulations.'”

Using the Web to distribute sales incentives delivers secondary benefits as well, Levitan notes. “Managers today want their employees to be Web-savvy,” he says, “and by pushing all this stuff to the Web, you’re not only giving people what they want and becoming more efficient – you’re also compelling your people to become more proficient with using the Internet, which makes them more productive workers. Let’s face it, there’s a big motivational difference between saying, ‘You have to take this class on using the Web’ and saying, ‘Here’s $100 – go spend it online.'”